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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 3:43 pm | Partly Cloudy 63º


Naked Man Arrested After Punching Santa Maria Police Officer

A 27-year-old man was struck by a less-than-lethal projectile weapon and taken into custody after allegedly assaulting an officer, Santa Maria police said Friday.

After a report of a naked man in the roadway near Main and Smith streets, police arrived and attempted to contact him at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The suspect, Michael Rodriguez, allegedly attacked the officer, punching him in the head and face several times, Sgt. Russ Mengel said.

A stun gun was deployed but was ineffective, Mengel added.

The suspect fled to a nearby apartment building where he refused police orders to come outside.

While inside the residence, Rodriguez donned clothing before re-emerging at the front doorway. 

However, he was noncompliant with the officer's commands, Mengel said. As a result, police fired a less-than-lethal sponge projectile at the man.

Rodriguez was taken into custody without further incident and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail

The police officer, whose name wasn’t released, had minor cuts and swelling, Mengel said.

The officer was treated at Marian Regional Medical Center and released.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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